We went to Princess Place Preserve last week and I knew we wouldn’t have a whole lot of time there because they close at 6PM year around, which left us with two hours give or take. If you decide to plan a visit here you definitely want to go early because of the early gate close and the sheer size of the place ! There are so many trails, I don’t own a horse personally but it’s hard not to notice how well they have catered to those that do with all the equestrian trails and the campsites. From the looks of it I’m sure it would be a great place for someone that does have one (:
We drove over the small bridge where I have seen people fishing off of in the past and took a road that lead to eagle nests viewing, we didn’t get out just because of the shortness of time and I didn’t think my son would be too interested in looking through tubes out in the middle of a field. It’s nice that they have that whole area cut off from people and keep it just for the eagles. When we came out the other end of that road we came to the equestrian campsite, did a bit more of confused driving and drove through the moody campsites as well. Those looked awesome, they are right on Smith Creek and looked a bit shaded. If we decided to camp there I would absolutely pick one of those. I saw grills at the campsites as well – currently there is a fire ban but of course when there isn’t, having a grill already there is a plus.
As we passed those camp sites and continued I kept seeing green trail markers which peaked my interest but also confused the hell out of me…even more than I was driving around there already lol. The trail markers were lining the road, so I started to wonder if I was driving on a trail. I will get back to this later though haha.
We finally came to the parking area I was looking for, the one right next to the kayaks and near the Legacy and Artisan trailheads. This is also where you can launch a kayak or canoe. We took the Legacy trail first (.6 miles), it’s nice little loop around with plenty of butterflies and views of the creek almost the entire way. We then crossed the dirt road and started the Artisan trail (1.1 miles), I have more negative than positive things to say about this one. This is the green trail, which explained the green trail markers…however I had never seen or hiked anything like that before lol. The first half was fine, we came to a pond-ish area with a huge wooden stand on the other side and I believe we could have gone around that pond for a short loop back but of course we followed the trail markers. After some time we did end up at the road, where the moody camp sites are….where I had just driven us from an hour ago. So, we are walking along the road and there is a green plaque with an arrow so I turn to follow it, even though there is no clear trail and it’s basically directing me to the field (i’m thinking “okay great, we won’t have to walk along the dirt road like hitchhikers !”)…so we are walking….and i’m looking left to right…. no trail markers. So I then walk back to the road and accept that this is the trail, we follow it back to our car with unfortunately no time left to go look at the rest of the grounds.
There are plenty of things to do here and entrance is free:
- Kayak rentals
- Kayak/canoe launch points
- camping – group
- camping- equestrian
- Camping- primitive
- trails for hiking
- trails for horseback riding
- Historic site and exhibit
- plenty of parking areas scattered around
Most of the preserve is dirt road. There is handicapped parking and as we were leaving I did see a sidewalk that lead to somewhere mysterious, I think the main visitors part of the preserve is accessible whereas the more recreational areas are not.